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Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Wining Through Praise. Having Victory in Thanksgiving

Ephesians 5:19-20
Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

1 Thessalonians 5:18
give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.


Paul said it is the will of God that we as God's children in Chris Jesus to give thanks in everything. In these words of  Paul, in everything did not imply that the circumstances has to be favourable, but that God desires that we thank Him even when the circumstances are not favourable. In the reality of things, is it really easy to thank God when you are going through very big challenges in your life? When you are groaning under the heavy pressure of issues of life? The sickness is getting worse and not better and the doctors have given you a time limit to life; the bank account is on zero balance, the debts are heavy and wide spread and creditors knocking and calling, bills mounting up and you are loosing the shelter over your head, the children are looking up to you with questions unanswered written all over their faces; or is it when you are grieving over the lose of a very dear one. You are now becoming scared to get any more news because all the news you've been getting in the past weeks have been grossly negative. In the midst of all these scenarios that I have just described, Paul's teaching is that as a child of God, the Lord desires that you praise Him and give thanks to Him.
This kind of sounds like a hard teaching you know. But before we condemn God as a God who lacks feelings, there is the need to know why God will require that we do such tough thing as to give thanks in the midst of challenges that appears to be a valley of shadow of death in our lives. Never mind that Job gave thanks in the midst of his trials, those who have gone through tough challenges in life will not dispute the fact that it is not easy to give thanks when looking around you and considering that in your situation there is nothing to thank God for. 
I have come to understand and appreciate that what God is asking us His children to do through the instructions of Paul is to acknowledge Him in everything. The word acknowledge and thanks share a synonym word together and that common word is recognize. What the Lord desire of us His children in to acknowledge and recognize the might of His power in every situation we may find ourselves. 
The fact that you are going through tough times at the moment has not ruled of the truth of the presence of God in your life and situation. Isaiah 54: 10 says "'Though the mountains be shaken and hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed' says the Lord, who has compassion on you." The Lord never promised there will not be a shaking, but even in the shaking the presence of God is still there with you. Those trials are there to mold you into a better person if you are trained by it (Hebrews 12:4-11). 
The Bible records that Job worshiped God in the midst of his trials. The fact that he worshiped did not imply that Job did't grieve, but he acknowledge God in the midst of his trials because he was convinced that God will not put him through a challenge He could not see him through. He was a man who walked righteously before the Lord and had developed a relationship with God over time, so he was sure that the Lord was taking him somewhere even in the raging storm and in the full knowledge of this he worshiped God.
Abraham, when the Lord told him to take his only son, the fulfillment of God's covenant in his life to the mountain and offer him up as a sacrifice, Abraham obeyed, in fact when he was approaching the mountain he instructed his servant to wait while he goes further with boy to worship. Abraham considered this a worship; he looked beyond the situation and saw God who has the ability to raise his son from the dead after he had been sacrificed and so he was just going to worship. 
Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego didn't focus on the burning furnace, they had their focus on God and likewise Daniel's attention was beyond the lion's den, it was focused on God. They were all mindful of the truth in Psalm 23:4 that "even though they walked through the valley of shadow of death, they need not fear any evil, for the Lord was with them, His rod and staff comforts them."  
Once in my life I faced the most terribly time of my life, like many people, I didn't see anything around me that was worth thanking God for. I had no job, no money, a very huge debt, my creditors were running after me with no where to hide, my marriage was in a big trouble, slipping fast into the valley, my wonderful children were looking up to me for their care and well being, with many demands and no hope at all of meeting any. Family were close yet so far because none could help. 
And then I heard the message of giving thanks, and the first thing that came to my mind was "what am I thanking God for in my so wretched life." Things had gotten so bad that I was at the point of committing suicide to safe myself of the shame and disgrace that was trailing me so closely. But then the voice of the message just would not leave me alone. Some say the voice of God is gentle, but for me in this case that voice was strong as persistent. 
Mind you, in all of these I was a born-again Christian, I had come to love God, and this kind of added to my anger that why will the God that I serve, let me go through such tough terrain. But at some point I began to look beyond my problems, I stopped looking a reason to thank God, but just thank Him because I love Him. I concluded in my heart that I wanted to go to heaven if I die and since all that I will be doing when I get to heaven is to praise God then I better start getting used to it now. So I began to cultivate the habit of true worship. I will praise God till I was soaked in tears. I melted before the Lord in worship and stopped to be overwhelmed by my troubles.
But God holds our worship, our praises, our thanks so dear to Him, the Bible say He inhabits the praises of His children. The restoration of my life began at the place of praise. Without me taking particular notice of the turn of events, the Lord began to fix my problems one after the other. First He healed my marriage, He returned my husband's love to me and returned my love to my husband. Then He began to take care of the debts in bits and pieces until they were totally settled. Then He restored my glory, removed my shame and gave me smiles instead of tears. That is what the Lord does with our praise. 
King Jehoshapat did't fight His battles with a sword, he won his victory in praising God. Paul and Silas did't force their way out of prison, they walked out of it majestically because they understood the power of praise.  The walls of Jericho didn't fall flat through the pulling down with the bulldozer of dynamite, it came down by the continuous sound of the trumpet in reverence to God. True there is power in praise. You get the devil that in annihilating your life confused when you praise God in the midst of your challenges. It is not that the trouble isn't there, it's that you are placing God before you ahead of the trouble. Your focus has stopped to be on the trouble, but on God who alone has the solution to the trouble. You acknowledge and thank God despite the trouble and you automatically see your trouble disgraced right before your very eyes. In deed there is power in praise, I have experienced and so I share this truth. 

For more on the power of praise you can get the ebook "The Sacrifice that Pleases the Lord authored by Aderinsola Obasa for any of your devices, just click the link: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/305268


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